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Japanese sake type - Differ according to the combination of flavor and aroma

Knowing the type of Japanese sake helps to select sake according to your purpose.
The diverse characteristics of Japanese sake brewed across over 1,500 sake breweries nationwide vary greatly in flavor, even within the same brand, depending on the ingredients and production method used.
There is no definite flavor characteristic of Junmai or Ginjo for example, as some are sweet while others are dry. Also, sweet sake flavor further varies widely in richness, fruity sweet, or refreshingly sweet, etc.
Therefore, various classifications are possible depending on your chosen criteria. For example, the rice polishing ratio could be another reference point to narrow your sake type. The lower the rice polishing ratio, the more refreshing the flavor. The higher the rice polishing ratio, the stronger the flavor.
Sake can also be classified according to how you enjoy your sake.
Some sake types are more flavorful when enjoyed chilled, while others are more flavorful enjoyed hot.
Refreshing sake and Ginjo are delicious chilled, while rich sake like Kimoto-Junmai is delicious hot.



#aroma #flavor #sake

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Tokyo Jizake Strolling (New Initiative)

By Ryuji Takahashi

When Japanese sake is introduced overseas, sake is often explained in terms of wine. When I’m requested to organize a sake seminar overseas, I also explain sake in terms of wine. However, not all aspects of sake could be explained in the same terms as wine, as there are many differences. Needless to say, the ingredients are different, and while is produced by simple fermentation, while sake is produced by multiple sequential fermentation. The difference is evident in the ingredients and brand classification method. If sake is produced from rice, only the production region and variant is recognized; while wine produced from the same variant and production region are classified by the altitudes of the vineyard.
Citing the high-end wine producer Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC) as an example, wine produced from grapes of the same pinot noir variant in the same region is still labeled as different wine brands due to the difference in high/low altitudes of the vineyard. Since the difference in altitude can generate differences in soil components, etc., wine produced at a lower altitude than the vineyard producing the high-end DRC will be priced slightly lower as the brand Romanee St. Vivant to distinguish the brand by the altitude of the vineyard. In DRC’s vineyard, the plot used to produce Romanée-conti constitutes only ten percent of the vineyard.
In this way, Yasuhiro Shibuya, sommelier and CEO of the Grand Cru Wine Company Tokyo took on the challenge to produce the highest quality of sake from the same rice variant in the same region by selecting only one rice field with the terroir in mind in terms of wine terminology. Shibuya recruited master sake brewer Iwao Takahashi from the Kanemasu Brewery (Shibata city, Niigata prefecture), a renowned local sake producer whom he hit it off with and agreed to help revitalize the local economy together by producing their sake brand “Domaine Takahashi.” The term Domaine refers to a small-scale winery using grapes carefully grown by a producer with thorough consideration of the weather, climate, growing conditions, etc., to produce wine.
In that sense, master sake brewer Takahashi also produces Kanemasu Brewery’s original brand of sake “Koshi-tanrei” from sake rice grown in Niigata prefecture with his thorough knowledge of regional characteristics, close attention to the quality of ingredients, and brews sake with a stoic attitude. Therefore, Kanemasu Brewery could be considered the Domaine of Japan. Shibuya chose his sake rice field for its slope offering good scenery, similar to a vineyard. “Domaine Takahashi” was completed by crowd funding and delivered to participants. Would the first sip deliver the beautiful rice fields of Shibata city in the eyes of the consumer? I won’t know until I taste it myself. However, this branding method deserves attention as a new test case to revitalize the local economy and rebuild sake breweries in my opinion.



#covid19 #daiginjo #jizake #junmai #nigori #sake #tokyo

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Four Key Points of Selling Sake

By Yuji Matsumoto

Dealing with many consumers on a daily basis making proposals on sake, I realize that there are requisite key points. Going over these points alone makes the conversation a success. Roughly speaking, there are four points. The first is aroma. Explain the strength of the product’s aroma (gorgeous or tender) and its characteristics (fruity, floral, alcohol).

The second is body. Explain the product’s sweetness, acid taste, bitterness, and also how it goes down one’s throat.

The third is food pairing. Select the absolute best dish for it. Don’t explain too much, just say it simply: “No other sake goes better with salmon sashimi!”

The fourth is temperature. Explain which temperature setting is best for the product: room temperature, hot, or cold?

Sake manufacturers need to be aware of these points as well. Have a clear vision when developing a product, such as where your target market is, and what you want it to do. “I want my sake to pair with beef steaks like no red wines can” is a good example. And make sure you convey the message in your marketing effort.

Also make sure that these four points are mentioned in your menus, and stressed in your staff training sessions.


#cocktail #recipes #sake #shochu

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Sake Nation “NON GMO Certification: Part I”

By Kosuke Kuji

As the impact from the novel COVID-19 coronavirus spreads worldwide, the world continues to face major challenges in the aftermath of the pandemic. As the vaccination starts, a ray of hope is finally visible.
In the midst of this coronavirus era, Japanese sake was certified as “NON GMO” for the first time. This time, Japanese liquor was also certified as NON GMO. Nearly two years of preparation and application finally resulted in an international certification by the U.S. (
Why is Japanese sake certified as “NON GMO?”
Our sake brand was certified as “Kosher” (compliant with Jewish dietary laws) in 2013, the second Japanese sake brewery to be certified Kosher following “Dassai” of Yamaguchi prefecture.
Obtaining kosher certification widened our opportunities to reach a wider demographic of consumers beyond the certain group of foreign nationals interested in Japanese cuisine or Japan.
As the Kosher market expands, especially in the U.S., other renowned sake brands like Hakkaisan, Kikusui, etc., were also certified Kosher.
Afterwards, when we asked local American consumers who frequent Kosher markets we were asked several times in return why Japanese sake is not certified “Vegan” also, since sake is produced from only rice and water.
Afterwards, the first Japanese sake brand received international Vegan certification in 2019.
In the midst of this flow, the U.S. market is sensing heightened demand for health-conscious, pure food products.
To be continued in the next issue.

酒豪大陸「NON GMO認定 その1」

そんな、コロナの時代ですが、日本酒で初めて「NON GMO」の認定を受けることが出来ました。なお今回はリキュールでも認定を受けております。
なぜ日本酒が「NON GMO」認定を受けたのか。

#Breweries #Dassai #Hakkaisan #Kosher #NONGMO #Sake #kanpai

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